From left to right Wira Swadana, Green Economy Program Manager, Yulfaizon, General Manager, PT Bukit Asam Tbk Ombilin Mining Unit, Farah Vianda, Sustainable Financing Coordinator, and Y. Sulistiyohadi, Associate Mining Inspector/Coordinator of Civil Servant Investigator Mineral and Coal
Jakarta, January 25, 2024 – Mitigating the impact of the declining demand for coal in Indonesia is crucial, particularly in regions heavily dependent on coal production, amidst the global push for a robust energy transition. The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) emphasizes that companies and business entities within the coal industry can play a pivotal role in revitalizing post-mining areas and facilitating economic development within communities once coal operations cease.
Wira Swadana, the Green Energy Program Manager at IESR, asserts that a just energy transition must actively involve various stakeholders, with a special focus on companies and business actors.
“While private entities and coal industry actors are often perceived as adversaries due to the negative impacts on mining areas, in the context of an inclusive and just transition, these mining companies assume a significant responsibility for post-mining endeavors and preparing communities for socio-economic activities, steering them away from a reliance on mining,” Wira explained during the Just Transition Dialogue: Identifying the Role of the Private Sector in Socio-Economic Empowerment of Communities (24/1/2024), an event organized by IESR.
Wira Swadana emphasized the need for business actors to fulfill their responsibilities in land reclamation and post-mining activities, as mandated by Law No.3/2020. He underscored that the government must actively oversee the implementation and take decisive action against mining companies neglecting their obligations in reclamation and post-mining endeavors.
Sulistiyohadi, Associate Mining Inspector/Coordinator of Civil Servant Investigator Mineral and Coal, elucidated the distinction between mining reclamation and post-mining activities. Functionally, reclamation involves enhancing the quality of the environment and ecosystem to restore their intended functionality. On the other hand, post-mining activities focus on the comprehensive restoration of the natural environment and social functions, tailored to the specific conditions of the mining area.
“Reclamation becomes obligatory during the exploration stage, and as production operations commence, a post-mining plan is formulated after meeting the economic and technical feasibility criteria,” Sulistiyohadi explained. He noted that both reclamation and post-mining plans require guarantees for their respective activities.
Moreover, PT Bukit Asam Tbk Ombilin Mining Unit has carried out reclamation and post-mining processes. The post-mining activities are concentrated on establishing a sustainable economy by repurposing the former mining area for various purposes, including the creation of an animal protection zone, zones for crop and livestock cultivation, and utilization for tourism, sports, education, and cultural activities.
Yulfaizon, General Manager at PT Bukit Asam Tbk Ombilin Mining Unit, expressed optimism that the completed post-mining activities at the Ombilin mine will serve as a national exemplar. These efforts align with Sawahlunto’s vision and mission, aiming to transform the former mine into a center for study, job training, and a noteworthy destination in the Sawahlunto region.